How To Make Brown Sugar

Bowl With Brown Sugar
Andhika Wicaksana / EyeEm/Getty Images

What can you do when you are eager to make a recipe that calls for brown sugar, but you don't have any in the cupboard? You can save yourself a trip to the grocery store if you have two simple ingredients. Brown sugar couldn't be easier to make if you have granulated sugar and molasses in your pantry. You may discover you never need to buy brown sugar, you can use this simple recipe and save cupboard space.

What You Need to Make Brown Sugar

  • Sugar
  • Molasses

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 minutes

How to Make Light Brown Sugar from White Sugar and Molasses

  1. Measure one cup of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of molasses into a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir with a fork until completely mixed. Your brown sugar is now ready for use!

How to Make Dark Brown Sugar from White Sugar

  1. Measure one cup of granulated sugar and two tablespoons of molasses into a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir with a fork until it is completely mixed, then use it as dark brown sugar.

How to Make Dark Brown Sugar from Light Brown Sugar

  1. Measure one cup of light brown sugar and one tablespoon of molasses into a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir with a fork until it is completely mixed, then use it as dark brown sugar.

This simple recipe works because molasses is a byproduct of making white sugar. It contains sugar and some protein, minerals and vitamins. It doesn't go to waste.

Molasses is added back into white sugar to make brown sugar. Light brown sugar contains about 3.5 percent molasses and dark brown sugar contains about 6.5 percent molasses. By adding molasses to white sugar you are doing exactly what happens at the sugar factory.

You may decide after using this method to just buy some molasses to keep on hand to make your own brown sugar when you need it.

You won't end up with hardened bags of brown sugar in your cupboard. Whenever you need brown sugar, you can just mix a little molasses into white granulated sugar.

Your recipe probably called for brown sugar in order add a little molasses flavor to it. The complex and rich flavor gives an extra dimension to the taste of the finished product, such as cookies, muffins, marinades and sauces.

Brown Sugar Alternatives If Don't Have Molasses

  • Try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup in a cup of granulated sugar. Like molasses, it will give a different flavor element. Real maple syrup works best, but maple-flavored syrup could be used in a pinch.
  • Agave nectar can also be used, mixing a tablespoon in with a cup of granulated sugar.
  • Buckwheat honey has a strong flavor much like molasses. Mix a tablespoon of it into a cup of white granulated sugar.
  • Rum flavoring may also add a flavor similar to molasses to a dish. Just use white sugar in your recipe and add a couple of drops to the mixture. Rum is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane juice or molasses. It's not wise to use actual rum. it won't have enough of the concentrated flavor, and will add more liquid and alcohol to the recipe. This would require other adjustments.